Local COVID-19 Cases & Hospitalizations Near Record Levels

Virtual COVID-19 Press Conference Scheduled for
Wednesday, August 25th, at 9 a.m.

The City of Waco will host a Virtual COVID-19 Press Conference on Wednesday, August 25th, at 9:00 a.m.  Mayor Dillon Meek will join local healthcare representatives and community members to discuss the critical status of COVID-19 locally.

Over the last seven weeks, the number of patients hospitalized daily in Waco due to COVID-19 climbed from 10 to 166 patients, as of Friday, August 20, 2021. Once again, Waco and the surrounding region are seeing exponential spread of COVID-19 and such a high number of patients seeking care that it exhausts and overwhelms local healthcare systems. Our hospitals are nearly full, all 54 ICU beds are in use and non-ICU beds are being converted to care for critical patients, and healthcare staff are exhausted and stretched thin. We are nearing the same numbers that we saw in January 2021 when daily hospitalizations due to COVID-19 peaked at 178. At that time, we saw our highest 7-day running average of daily new COVID-19 cases reach 214. As of Friday, August 20, 2021, our 7-day running average of daily new COVID-19 cases was 182. We may soon exceed January’s record levels in both daily hospitalizations and daily new cases unless we make drastic changes quickly to reduce community transmission.

Mass distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine beginning mid-January 2021 caused a significant drop in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities when local COVID-19 levels were at their highest. Currently, about 43% of people over 12 years old in McLennan County are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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COVID-19 is spreading quickly in our community, especially among unvaccinated people. Currently, over 60% of local COVID-19 cases are in individuals 20 to 60 years of age. As of Friday, August 20, 2021, the Waco McLennan County Public Health District reported 87% of the patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 were unvaccinated against the disease.

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. As of Monday morning, August 23, 2021, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has received full FDA approval, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccines are available under emergency use authorization. Millions of Americans have received the vaccine and have shown that it protects you from getting COVID-19. If you do get the disease, vaccinated people are shown to be more protected from experiencing severe illness or needing hospitalization. It is not too late to get the COVID-19 vaccine so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

The Press Conference will be streamed LIVE over Spectrum Channel 10 and in HD on Grande Channel 810. It will also be carried on our Live Stream at www.wccc.tv with a delay of up to 30 seconds possible. A full Spanish translated version will air Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

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